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Message pens line expanded to widen buyers' options

The latest releases come in gel and rollerball types, and bottle and cigarette shapes.

China suppliers of message pens are expanding their product range in efforts to spark interest in the line. Many makers are now augmenting their output of banner writing instruments in the traditional ballpoint construction with gel and rollerball versions. Such pieces are $0.03 to $0.06 more expensive.

Ballpoint banner pen
The 68921 model from Ningbo Jiangdong Jodee is a ballpoint banner pen with an AS barrel.

One company has even developed a dual-ended design that enables highlighter functionality. This is quoted $0.06 to $0.10 above single-tip variants.

Regular banner pens have a housing length of 14 to 15cm, while the message component measures 6.8x18cm. Ningbo Jiangdong Jodee Import and Export Co. Ltd, however, is releasing versions that incorporate keychains or lanyards. The model and banner length are shorter.

While LED projector pieces were not common as recently as two years ago, production of the type is now on the rise. The majority of suppliers are based in Shenzhen city of Guangdong province, which is known as a hub for electronic gifts and premiums.

Many of such items boast wider capability. Select designs from Shenzhen Giftoy Electronics Fty and Shenzhen Yi Hua Pen Electronics Technology Co. Ltd allow the user to activate the integrated LEDs for illumination without enabling projection. This raises prices 20 to 30 percent.

The first maker has also developed the GT-223CS model, which combines projection and banner functionality. The latter adds $0.15 to final quotes.

Further, Shenzhen Giftoy is marketing versions intended for promotional purposes. These mimic the contours of other product types, including beer bottles and cigarettes.

China-based suppliers of banner pens are upgrading material selection in efforts to raise model performance and quality levels.

While 80gsm art paper and B-class springs are the norm, Shenzhen Hilewis Present Co. Ltd now utilizes 90gsm and

A-class alternatives to increase pulling smoothness. These inputs add 5 percent to final prices.

The manufacturer also assembles the pulling mechanism to allow a 1:1 proportion for the force of paper and string.

Mainland China makers such as Shenzhen Hilewis and Tonglu Yippee Pen Industry Co. Ltd are improving production techniques as well.

The first has replaced locally assembled plastic-injection machines consisting of Taiwan components with equipment sourced from the latter location, raising efficiency by 10 percent.

The supplier is also upgrading semiautomatic packaging facilities to fully autonomous variants, increasing output to six or seven cartons per minute from the previous three or four.

At Tonglu Yipee, four manipulators have been installed among the 10 plastic-injection machines. Each contraption enables greater precision and reduces worker count by one.

Unlike some upscale LED-equipped items, projector pens do not require dust-free workshops during manufacturing. Shenzhen Giftoy and Shenzhen Yi Hua, however, procured such facilities to lower defect rates for the lighting component.

Products & prices
Product gallery

LED projector pen
Shenzhen Giftoy’s model GT-213C LED projector pen can have a barrel in Pantone colors.
Products & prices

Message pens from China generally come in banner, LED projector and window constructions. These features add $0.04 to $0.05, $0.2 to $0.30 and $0.03 to $0.04 to basic writing instrument quotes, respectively.

The first type dominates exports as it has the highest price-to-promotional performance ratio because of its large message area and low production cost. The banners usually have single-faced OPP film lamination and double-sided offset printing.

Plastic such as ABS and AS are the primary barrel materials.

While most LED projector pens display one pattern, select pieces support multiple ones, with five- to eight-motif versions currently popular. Additional designs raise quotes by about $0.075.

Both Shenzhen Giftoy and Shenzhen Sunny Electron Co. Ltd offer eight-image items, and models from Shenzhen Yi Hua generate five.

The majority of makers accept customer specifications but may charge a molding fee if the order does not reach a specific quantity.

The LEDs used have a brightness of 18,000 to 20,000mcd. RoHS-compliant pens employ low- and zero-mercury materials, with products made of the former $0.015 to $0.03 higher than versions that are noncompliant.

Inputs that do not contain mercury raise prices by an additional $0.045.

For batteries, lithium and NiMH types are commonly utilized. The first is necessary for larger items and can push up quotes by $0.03 to $0.045.

As LED projector models are marketed as upscale, the materials and finishes are generally costlier than those of banner designs.

Most companies prefer metal barrels, and electroplated and spray-painted finishes. The first effect raises prices by $0.15. Printing is another option, and makes pieces $0.012 to $0.048 more expensive.

Window products are said to be the least popular in terms of output and sales. These often have one casement and six sides, although versions with two openings and eight sides are available as well.

Ballpoint and gel pens from China usually incorporate lead and nickel brass points. Some high-end items, especially gel models, utilize stainless steel counterparts that boast better durability and ink compatibility.

Resultantly, suppliers are increasingly adopting local ink, which is less expensive than the Germany-procured Dokumental alternative. Wujiang city in Jiangsu province has become a major production hub for the substance. Makers approximate the quality of the imported variant while keeping costs 50 to 70 percent lower.

Regardless of construction, the tips of most ballpoint and gel pens comprise stainless steel or tungsten carbide balls. Pieces with the latter are priced about $0.01 higher.

As banner types do not require advanced manufacturing processes, many suppliers are small or midsize, and cannot afford to invest heavily in R&D. Interest in such models is growing in the local market, however, prompting a large number of enterprises to join the line.

The majority of China's banner pen makers have no direct export rights and relyon trading companies. The latter, including Ningbo Jiangdong Jodee and Shanghai Atlantis Industry Co. Ltd, consider this a secondary category.

Banner pen
Product gallery

Ningbo Jiangdong Jodee Import and Export Co. Ltd

Model: 68913
MOQ: 10,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Banner pen; gel type; with cord; AS barrel; 14.2x1.2cm

Banner pen

Ningbo Jiangdong Jodee Import and Export Co. Ltd

Model: 68921
MOQ: 10,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Banner pen; ballpoint type; AS barrel; 14.5x1cm

Banner pen

Shanghai Atlantis Industry Co. Ltd

Model: SA1020
MOQ: 2,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Banner pen; ballpoint type; AS barrel

LED projector pen

Shenzhen Giftoy Electronics Fty

Model: GT-213C
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 18 days
Description: LED projector pen; ballpoint type; barrel can have Pantone colors; silicone gel grip

LED projector pen

Shenzhen Giftoy Electronics Fty

Model: GT-216
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 18 days
Description: LED projector pen; ballpoint type; metal barrel can have Pantone colors; independent illumination function; magnet between cap and body

Banner pen

Shenzhen Hilewis Present Co. Ltd

Model: Bannerpen
MOQ: 10,000 pieces
Delivery: 18 days
Description: Banner pen; ballpoint type; transparent barrel; 90gsm banner and A-class spring

Banner pen

Ningbo Jiangdong Jodee Import and Export Co. Ltd

Model: 68922
MOQ: 10,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Banner pen; ballpoint type; desktop configuration; AS barrel; 17x1.1cm

Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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